Troubleshooting Manual

Troubleshooting Guide

Like most outdoor power equipment, lawn mowers are subjected to a range of conditions that make regular maintenance and inspection mandatory. Your mower is bound to run into small issues from time to time, but most of these problems can be resolved right in your garage without the need to involve an authorized technician.  Having read the following troubleshooting guide, bear in mind that if you’re not comfortable working on your mower or have not repaired power tools before do not hesitate to call a service centre.

Safety first – remember to always look out for yourself and those around you

  1. Do not attempt to operate the lawn mower without going through the included instruction manual and making yourself familiar with the various controls and switches
  2. Avoid using the mower in the presence of small children and pets.
  3. Ensure that you only use Gravely or Gravely certified accessories when replacing any of the mower’s parts.Never over-rev the engine to increase speed. Do not attempt to ride on the governor.
  4. Ensure that the PTO unit has been disengaged and that the ignition key has been removed before you attempt to carry out any repairs.
  5. Always wait for a few moments before handling the mower after turning it off – there could still be moving parts that haven’t come to a halt.
  6. Clean out the deck and underside of the mower after each use to prevent fire hazards that can result from the accumulated clippings or excessive lubrication.
  7. Never store the mower in the presence of unregulated gasoline fumes or flammable materials.
  8. Inspect the condition of the mufflers from time to time and replace when required – worn mufflers can catch fire and cause significant damage if unchecked.
  9. Clear out the lawn of stones, toys and other obstacles which can come in contact with the mower. Not only do foreign objects damage the blade, they can get thrown across the lawn potentially damaging or injuring someone.
  10. Educate yourself on how to stop the mower quickly in case of an emergency.
  11. Never allow children to operate the mower, and do not allow adults to operate without adequate instructions.
  12. Exercise caution when handling gasoline – it is highly flammable with explosive vapors and must only be filled into the unit in a well ventilated area away from excessive heat.
  13. Use clean gasoline as mentioned in the engine manual only
  14. Before operating the mower, inspect that all the shields and guards are properly in place.
  15. Check that the PTO lever is in the OFF position and that the gear shifter lever has been set to the neutral position before you turn of the engine.
  16. Never mow your lawn in the dark or without adequate lighting.
  17. Aim to travel across slopes as far as possible, rather than straight up or down and proceed at a slow pace. Stay alert for bumps and abrupt changes in elevation.
  18. If you hit an object, immediately disengage the PTO and inspect the blades for any resulting damage. Do not proceed with mowing unless you have ensured that the blades are fit to continue mowing.
  19. Never attempt to mow your lawn while wearing loose fitting garments – always wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
  20. Ensure that the grass is dry before mowing – mowing wet grass may cause tearing of grass and could result in infected, damaged grass.
  21. Never attempt to control the mower from any position apart from the designated operating position as illustrated in your included manual.
  22. Never allow the engine to idle in a closed space or indoors as exhaust fumes are dangerous.
  23. Ensure that the mower has been responsibly parked and that the key has been removed from the ignition after usage.

Make yourself familiar with the main controls

Do not attempt to operate the lawn mower before going through the included owner’s manual and thoroughly familiarizing yourself with the various controls.

1. Blade drive lever: allows you to engage and disengage the power unit and blade drive system. In order to engage the unit, pull the lever up to the RUN position. Subsequently, moving the lever back to the neutral position enables you to disengage the mechanism.

2. Gear shift lever: enables you to select between three speeds in the forward direction and a reverse speed – they are indicated on the shifter’s panel. Ensure that the shifter is always in neutral before you attempt to start the engine.

3. Throttle control: enables you to adjust the engine’s speed and rev count. Moving the lever in the forward direction increases the engine’s revs while you can lower engine speed and reduce revs when you pull the lever backwards. The engine can be started with an assisted choke by pulling up the lever and then pushing it all the way forward.

4.  Clutch pedal: depressing this enables you to disengage the clutch from the power unit when starting up the engine or while braking to come to a halt. You won’t be able to start the engine until the clutch pedal has been completely depressed.

5. Ignition switch: turning the key in the ignition switch to the extreme right direction cranks the engine to start it up – after the engine has been started and the key released, it slips to the ON position for the duration of the engine’s operation. Completely vertical position is the OFF position and will bring the engine to a stop.

6.Clutch lock lever: enables you to lock the clutch pedal down onto the flat position and release the pedal to it’s regular position.

7. Brake pedal: allows you to reduce the speed of the unit while moving in any direction. Appling additional pressure on the brake pedal can release the brake lock system if engaged (similar to the clutch lock mechanism). Ensure that the clutch pedal is depressed before you press down the brake pedal.

Service and Maintenance

Like any other mowers, Gravely lawn mowers need regular maintenance and service in order to operate safely, economically and for a long time. We recommend following maintenance work to be done at particular intervals or more often, overall service at gravely service station should happen before season opening if lawn mower was stored properly for winter time or at the end of the season when service station would perform all maintenance work required for long storing

Table 1. Maintenance work to be perform on Gravely Mowers applicable for all  models

Intreval Task Action
Each Use Check parking brake Push the unit and ensure that the brake is functioning normally
Check tires Ensure that adequate tire pressure is maintained
Check hydraulic oil level Check the oil level
Clean the unit Clear out clipping and other debris from the deck
Every 25 hours Check blades Sharpen the blades or replace if necessary
Check filter Inspect the filter element and replace if required
Every 50 hours Lubricate the axles Ensure that the front and rear axles are well lubricated, especially at the pivot points
Every 100 hours Clean the battery Clear out debris from the battery’s terminals and check for corrosion. Replace is necessary
Inspect fasteners Check the blade mounting hardware for any wear and tear
Inspect the belts Check that all drive belts are in good working condition. Look for signs of wear and replace the belt if required.
Every 400 hours Grease axle pivots Repack the pivots at the front axle as per the manual

Troubleshooting

Like any other lawn mowers your Gravely mower may experience some issues from time to time. You can use the troubleshooting tables below to identify the problems and most common solutions. If in doubt how to troubleshoot yourself you should always turn to the service station. You are also free to share your troubleshooting experiences or questions on out FAQ forum.

Table 2. Troubleshooting table applicable for all Gravely lawn mowers

Problem Possible Cause Solution
Engine loses power or refuses to start Steering control lever has not been shifted and locked in the neutral position Move both levers completely out
Attachment clutch has been engaged Disengage the attachment clutch
Fuel tank is empty Fill fuel in the tank
Engine has not been properly choked Start the engine properly as illustrated in the manual
Engine may have flooded Wait for a few minutes for the engine to clear out before attempting to start it again
Bad or faulty spark plug Clean out the spark plug and replace it with a new one if required
Fuel or air filter is dirty Clean the filter and replace with a new one if required
Water has been mixed with the fuel Replace the fuel with fresh gasoline
Battery may be weak or dead Replace the battery with a new one
Fuse may have blown Replace the fuse
Cutting height is too low and speed is too high Increase the cutting height and reduce the engine speed
Grass clippings and other debris may have accumulated under the mower Clear out the underside of the mower after each use
Engine oil is low or dirty Replace the engine oil with fresh lubricant
Spark plug assembly’s wiring is loose Tighten the wiring or replace the circuitry if required
Difficult to start engine Dirty air filter or cleaner element Replace the element or clean it if possible
Faulty spark plug Clean or replace the spark plug
Carburetor needs to be adjusted Adjust the appropriate air fuel mixture ratio
Fuel may have gone stale Replace with fresh fuel
Engine clicking but refusing to start The battery may have died Replace the battery with a new one
Battery’s terminals may have corroded or become clogged Clean the battery’s terminals or replace if required
Loose wiring or damaged circuits Inspect the wiring and circuitry
Excess vibration coming from the unit The blades may be bent or worn out Inspect the blades and replace if necessary
Blades may not be uniformly sharpened Sharpen the blades uniformly and balance it
Blade mandrel may have bent Replace the blade mandrel
Battery does not charge Battery cells may have died Replace the battery with a new one
Cable connections are faulty Inspect the terminal wiring
Regulator is faulty Replace the regulator
Blades not rotating Clutch mechanism may be obstructed by something Clear out the clutch mechanism
Wear and tear to the drive belts Replace the drive belts
Idler pulley is frozen Replace the idler pulley

Starting the mower:

  1. Ensure that the gear shifter is in the neutral position and that the clutch pedal has been depressed.
  2. Shift the blade control lever to the neutral position as well.
  3. Pull up the throttle control lever and slide it forward to the choke position.
  4. Lock the depressed clutch pedal by engaging the clutch lock lever.
  5. Turn the ignition key sharply towards the right and crank the engine to a start.
  6. Rapidly pull out the cord – do not allow the cord to snap back to the unit, return it by hand instead. Repeat the process until the engine comes to a start.
  7. Set the throttle to the fast setting after the engine starts in order to idle it and wait until warm.

Stopping the mower:

  1. Depress the clutch pedal completely before depressing the brake pedal.
  2. Pull the throttle control lever to the stop position
  3. Turn the ignition key towards the off position
  4. Remove the key from the ignition before abandoning the mower.

Operating the mower:

The mower’s ground speed can be controlled by shifting the gear selected to one of the three speeds indicated, or in the reverse direction. Pushing the throttle control from slow to fast position can also change the ground speed. Maximum attainable speed is around 5.3 mph.

The cutting height lever can be used to increase or decrease the height of the mower and deck’s housing, enabling you to get a taller or shorter trim. In order to change the cutting height, hold on to the adjustment handle and squeeze the spring-loaded mechanism to unlock movement – now proceed to set the new height by sliding the mechanism to the desired position and release the spring lever to set the height.

Under normal operating conditions, aim to operate the mower with the throttle set at the fast position and in the first gear.

Cleaning the battery cables and battery itself

In order to clean the battery you should first remove it from the machine and then remove all visible corrosion from cables and its terminals as well as cables. Once that is completed you can wash it with a mix of baking soda and water. Once dry you can install battery and cables back on the mower.

Seat adjustment

In order to adjust your seat you need to remove the detent pin from its place, move the seat slightly forward and then adjust the seat into the wanted position. Once position is achieved tighten the pin.

Best practices for optimum mowing:

  • Use the inner side of the mower’s skid trails as a mental guide as to the direction of your cut, you can use the to get a more symmetric cut.
  • When mowing close to buildings or other objects on one side, ensure that the left side of your mower is facing that direction.
  • You can mow in a counterclockwise direction when cutting a significant amount of grass or thicker grass as this directs the clippings away from the upcoming cutting regions. However, if you desire mulching or are cutting a lighter lawn, mowing in the clockwise direction may be advantageous.

  • If the grass is too tall, you can achieve significantly improved results by mowing in two batches. First mow with a higher than usual cutting height, and then repeat the session with the desired final, cutting height.
  • Ensure that the rear axle lubricant is changed at least once after 25 hours of operation. The drain plug and fill plug are located at the centre of the rear axle.
  • Reset the spark plug’s gap as shown on the picture below with the help of a feeler gauge at least once at the beginning of every mowing season. This minimizes engine issues and prevents the starting problems that generally occur after 100 hours of operation